Asus Maximus IV Extreme RoG review

Is this the best Sandy Bridge motherboard?

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In performance terms, it's hard to be absolutely categorical about the Asus Maximus IV Extreme RoG. It's the quickest Sandy Bridge board we've tested, but then we haven't seen many yet. Still, it's worth noting that we achieved our highest air-cooled overclock of Sandy Bridge, an impressive 4.6GHz, with this board. However, for all the talk of quick-booting EFI firmwares, it doesn't half take a long time to wake up and smell the coffee.

If that's a function of the snazzy graphical EFI menu, we'd prefer a return to plain old text.

Moreover, there are several unresolved issues that prevent us from giving this board the full thumbs up. We're not convinced the NF200 chip's triple-card SLI capability is quite what it seems.

Another doubt involves the Quick Sync Video transcode core that appears in all Sandy Bridge processors. According to our Intel engineering contact, it should be possible to access the transcoder when using discrete graphics.

However, the Maximus does not provide an option to enable the integrated graphics core in parallel with a discrete card and thus it doesn't appear in device manager. We'd certainly be loathe to pass up on Quick Sync Video. Early tests suggest it's much faster than conventional CPU software encoding.

We liked

If you can afford it, we've little doubt the Asus Maximus IV Extreme RoG represents your best chance of maximising the CPU performance of Intel's new Sandy Bridge processors. It's also packed with seriously desirable features such as wireless overclocking and comprehensive USB 3.0 connectivity.

We disliked

We're still getting to know Intel's new Sandy Bridge processor architecture, so it's not quite clear whether Asus is responsible for Maximus's niggles, including question marks over SLI and the Quick Sync Video transcode engine. But all the same, they could do with sorting.


Tech Specs

Product TypeDesktop Motherboard
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelP67 Express
Multi GPU SupportedSLI, CrossFireX
Number of PCI Express x16 Slots4
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Processor SocketSocket H2 LGA-1155
Brand NameAsus
Form FactorExtended ATX
Processor SupportedCore i7, Core i5, Core i3
Total Processor Supported1
Maximum Memory32 GB
64-bit ProcessingYes
Number of Memory Slots4
Audio Channels7.1
Gigabit EthernetYes
Number of SATA Interfaces8
RAID SupportedYes
Number of Total Expansion Slots6
Network (RJ-45)Yes
Total Number of USB Ports9
Number of USB 3.0 Ports1
PS/2 PortYes
Number of PS/2 Ports1
Total Number of Onboard USB Ports10
Number of Onboard USB 2.0 Ports8
PCI Express StandardPCI Express 2.0
Total Number of PCI Express Slots6
Processor TechnologyTurbo Boost Technology 2.0
Width304.8 mm
Depth269.2 mm
ManufacturerASUS Computer International
Product ModelMaximus IV Extreme
Product NameMaximus IV Extreme Desktop Motherboard
Controller TypeSerial ATA/600, Serial ATA/300
Manufacturer Part NumberMAXIMUS IV EXTREME REV 3.0
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The Intel P67 Express is the latest single-chipset design to support new socket 1155 Intel Core i3/Core i5/Core i7 2nd generation processors. It provides improved performance by utilizing serial point-to-point links, allowing increased bandwidth and stability. Additionally, the P67 provides 2 SATA 6Gb/s and 4 SATA 3Gb/s ports for faster data retrieval at double the bandwidth of current bus systems.